lINKEDiN FOR LAWYERS:
HOW TO GET LEADS AND INSTRUCTIONS FROM lINKEDiN
Are you a lawyer looking to use LinkedIn to generate leads win more business?
Perhaps you work in law firm marketing and have been tasked with creating a LinkedIn marketing strategy for your law firm.
This guide explains how you can turn cold leads into sales conversations with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn For Lawyers:
How to Turn Cold Leads Into Sales Conversations with LinkedIn
Before we dive in… let’s get clear what this guide won’t cover: We’re not going to cover LinkedIn marketing for your law firm.
The LinkedIn marketing strategy for your firm is an entirely different beast (think: company pages, promoted posts, advocacy strategies and more). Rest assured though, we will cover that soon in another article.
This guide is 100% focussed on what YOU can do, as a lawyer and an individual to win more business for your firm. If you’re looking to grow a network of ideal prospects, position yourself as an expert and make sales from LinkedIn then this guide is for you.
The 7-Step LinkedIn Marketing Plan for Lawyers
One last thing before we start… it’s important to remember that social media is just one aspect of your complete law firm digital marketing plan. Do make sure that all your LinkedIn goals and objectives are aligned with the overall digital marketing aims of your law firm.
Now, with that said, let’s dive in…
1. Figure out what your ideal client looks like
I’ve spent most of my life working in professional services businesses. One thing I learned very early on was this: If I didn’t generate my own work, I’d have clients assigned to me. And you know what? Those would be the clients that no-one else wanted… The boring accounts. Or the pain-in-the-ass clients. Or the dead-end jobs.
If I wanted to land a significant client that would challenge me intellectually, enable me get that promotion I was after or (heaven forbid) actually enjoy working with… then I needed to go find that client for myself.
So know that I’m talking from personal experience, when I say that the very first step that you need to take is this: figure out who you have the passion and credibility to serve. Ask yourself these questions:
- In a perfect world, what does your ideal client look like?
- Who do you enjoy working with today?
- Who do you want to spend more time working with?
Only when you’re 100% clear on that, move on to step #2.
2. Plan what you’re going to say to your prospects
The biggest mistake most lawyers make on social media, is that they share information that they and their peers would find interesting (but their prospects probably don’t). What tends to happen next is that they get a flood of likes and comments current and former colleagues… and then they bask in the glow of their success. After all – that’s what all the social media gurus say, right? They tell us that the key to success on social media lies in generating engagement.
That’s all well and good. But the bit the self-proclaimed gurus miss out is that the information you share on LinkedIn must be based around the interests and the problems your ideal clients are trying to solve. So instead of writing for yourself and your peers, put yourself in your client’s shoes for a moment and create content based on the EDIE formula.
EDIE stands for Educate, Demonstrate, Inform or Entertain.
Educate – This is about giving people tips. Practical, actionable, bite-size advice that shows your expertise and how you add value to your clients. You can include a call to action in these type of posts (e.g. register for a seminar). And if you can provide one “Aha!” moment, one nugget of advice that makes your prospects realize the value of your offer, they’ll obey that call to action.
Demonstrate – This is obviously much easier if you work in a field with physical products to demonstrate. For lawyers though, this is about sharing your “how”. It’s an insight into your process. It’s about giving potential clients confidence you know what you are doing by demonstrating your end-to-end journey that leads to success. For professional services like law, prospects are hardly ever shown what an end-to-end process looks like before they engage a lawyer. Wouldn’t that make you stand out from the competition? Wouldn’t prospects be more confident and ready to engage you if they understood that?
Ask yourself what happens from the point the client walks in the door, to the point their problem is resolved. Think about each of the steps along the way. Can you map that out into a plan of action and demonstrate each stage in a series of posts?
Inform – This is different to ‘Educate’. Instead of delivering a new skill to your LinkedIn prospects, you’ll be sharing some new insight, opinion or analysis. The best way is to post your insights on something newsworthy or topical that’s important to your ideal client. If you find yourself struggling, the other approach is to act as a curator. Start by doing some research – ask a question or start a poll. When the results are in, summarize people’s thoughts as another post… and make sure to tag in everyone you’ve quoted. They’ll love the recognition and most-likely share your post to their contacts too. This is a great way to expand your reach.
Entertain – this probably sounds scary. But don’t worry – it doesn’t mean you need to produce comedy videos like teen YouTubers. For lawyers on LinkedIn this means sharing a little something about your daily routine that makes you more human… A wry observation on your commute. Something amusing that happened in the office. A photo you took on the way home from work.
3. Craft an all-star LinkedIn Profile
Most people would tend to start here… but we want to make sure we craft your LinkedIn profile with your ideal client in mind – so that you appeal uniquely to them.
Get the basics right first – Start with a professional photo. Aim for the approachable and friendly look. Add a header image showing a bit more about you and what you do.
Next refine your headline – Most people use their job title, but this can be anything. What it should be is your unique value proposition: The thing that will make you stand out to a prospect. Rather than “Partner” would it not be better to have something like “Expert Financial Services M&A Lawyer | 20 years’ experience”?
Then, your summary – Use this section to tell a story. Most people’s summary section is bland and boring: “Dedicated people manager with proven track record of…” blah blah blah.
No-one wants to read a re-hash of your work experience and achievements.
Instead paint a picture of the goals you have for your clients, the values that drive you, and the outcomes you deliver. Explain how this line of work, the legal niche that you work in, came to be your calling, your passion and the one thing that makes you leap out of bed in the morning. If you got your ideal client identified correctly in step #1, this will be easy to write.
4. Plan your LinkedIn Posting Regimen
Unlike most other social media platforms, there is still lots of opportunity on LinkedIn for good quality organic (i.e. non-paid) content to find an audience. The key is to be consistent, so that you can start to build awareness and reputation as an expert in your field. Aim to post at least three times a week… daily if you can. The idea is to make sure you have a post in your contacts’ timelines every time they open LinkedIn.
Plan out most of your posts in advance. Use the EDIE formula and talk to your ideal client’s pain points.
5. Use LinkedIn Search to find new prospects
Your LinkedIn network right now is probably made up mostly of your peers – colleagues, former colleagues, university friends – plus a smaller number of existing and former clients. We need to switch that up so that the majority of your contacts are made up of stone-cold prospects.
Head over to LinkedIn Search and search for people who match your ideal client profile. LinkedIn search is super powerful.
Go to https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/ to start a people search.
In the search box enter a keyword or job title. Then click All Filters in the nav bar.
In the filter panel, select 2nd & 3rd+ degree connections, add a location or two and/or add a company or industry sector.
When you’ve found some people that look like your ideal client… move on to step #6.
6. Connect to leads
In step 6 you want to reach out to people to connect to them. Now these people may never have heard of you before, so you need to give them a reason to accept your connection request. To do that you’ll need to write a custom message to go with your request.
Absolutely do not try to sell at this point. Instead, you should politely say why it would be good for both of you to connect – highlight an interest that you both have in common and, if possible, compliment them on something they shared recently. Something like this:
Hi Joe, I really liked your recent post on reducing environmental impact using recycled widget cases. I work in a similar space and thought it would be good to connect. I hope you accept. 🙂
Your Job Title
This approach works particularly well if you have already commented on their post, so they are familiar with your name. If your target doesn’t post much on LinkedIn, then you need to find another ‘in’. Here’s one cheeky/humorous approach that we’ve seen work really well in the past:
Hi Joe, I see you run a startup. And I’m a startup lawyer. So I thought we should connect
I know what you’re thinking. “Who needs another lawyer in their network?”
If you don’t want to connect, that’s fine – just reply back with your favorite lawyer joke and I’ll be gone.
– Your Name
What’s so great about this invite is that you’re encouraging prospects to engage in conversation with you even when initially, they don’t want to connect!
7. Convert leads into conversations
Many “gurus” would have you believe that the next step is to create a LinkedIn messaging campaign designed to drive leads to a phone conversation. But we find this is just too pushy for legal services.
A Note About How People Buy…
Well established research shows that only 3% of your target market are ready to buy at any one time. What you can’t afford to do is burn through your target market by going for the hard sell and blitzing LinkedIn contacts with unwanted sales pitches.
Instead, when you focus on building a relationship instead of going directly for the sale, you’ll end up building trust with your prospect and also establish yourself as a credible expert in your field.
An Alternative Approach
When someone accepts your LinkedIn invite, send a simple thank you for connecting message and nothing more. You immediately differentiate yourself from 90% of people on LinkedIn as there is no pitch and no ask.
Then, work them into the conversation on your regular LinkedIn posts. Find a reason to @tag them and engage them in the conversation you’re starting. Just like you might do if you met them at a social event.
Your goal here is to position yourself as the genial host of the coctail party. A party where you lead the topic of conversation and get to show off your expertise.
Only when your lead is engaged and having regular and meaningful conversations with you online, should you reach out directly and ask for a phone call to deepen the relationship.
If you’ve done this right your lead will be flattered and gladly accept.
This ‘dance’ may well play out over 6-8 weeks and throughout that time the prospect is seeing your LinkedIn posts in their timeline… constantly adding value and giving, not selling. All of this works the prospect through know-like-trust, so that when you make the request for a call they see you as a valuable member of their network… someone they want to build a deeper relationship with.
This is how you can stand out from all the other lawyers fighting for your prospect’s attention on LinkedIn and work the full 100% of the market may be interested in your services over time. Because once those prospects DO move into the 3% of people ready to buy – you know exactly who they’ll call.
Free Download –
ALL-STAR LINKEDIN PROFILE CHECKLIST
Before you start to target your audience on LinkedIn, you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile for your ideal client and their goals.
Download the All-Star LinkedIn Profile Checklist – a one page worksheet – that’ll help you make sure you have all the most important points covered.
A 1-hour, accelerated-delivery, live online training on using LinkedIn for Lawyers. Discover how to make the most of your LinkedIn account to attract potential new clients and business partners for your firm.
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